I don't disagree with your observation at all. I think that Microsoft created a lot of fill in solutions that were baked into workflow over the 90's/00's (abuses of Excel as a poor man's database).
Most of the people I know that "must have" Excel are people that have inherited (or grew into) a position where they'd be a lot happier if they'd have picked up *SQL and tossed some of their learning curve toward php/python. However, Microsoft did something "right" with Office... they let the end user build complexity in an environment that required no additional tools nor unsightly under the hood involvement.
The number of times I've been brought into a project that begins with someone sharing a massive
Right now, I'm watching an absolute abuse of Google's offerings spread like wild fire. People are pulled into projects and are churning out immediate 'results' by offering up a mish-mash of Forms/Sheets/extensions and addons... None of them are developers, many don't even qualify as power users but are being directed from above into positions of visibility in areas that are not their strength. This (in my opinion) is the net result of the "Do more with less." philosophy that's becoming increasingly pervasive in my industry.
The real problem turns into this: All of this could be cleared up with some planning and development time. The cycle could end, but it won't. Path of least resistance is to continue on and force more and more people through a cycle of learning someone's else's ad hoc solutions as part of a mission critical product.
As I'm approaching 50, I'm starting to see why so many in our field say, "Screw this, I'd rather work with my hands." I think back to my university days of running heavy equipment to pay the bills (and before I made a little too much money installing the odd Lantastic networks for local businesses) and regret not sticking with that philosophy major (or just running a backhoe and playing guitar).